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QuoteLet's not delude ourselves,because whatever the "creative force" of the universe is, it is utterly beyond our comprehension.Dear MM and friends,Having in recent days had renewed contact with friends who run around in chaotic circles ignoring paths of order to the preference of the excitement of buzz of disorder and then running to the bottle of alcohol to paper over the cracks, it has struck me sharply that the fuzziness of the agnostic fence is the embodiment of that disorder; the weeds and thistles through which metaphorically one has to fight in order to grow one's mental crops.With regard to the assertion above that Genesis 1 is about something fundamental to all matter and energy in the universe which gives rise to the creation of anything at all, the femtometre is the scale of the inner atom - 10-15 of a metre and the forces that create all the order of everything from this scale to the widest universe are common to all. All powerful, invisible, everywhere.It's very easy to see two billiard balls or two people and think that God is at work between matter and matter, billiard ball and billiard ball. That is to what either atheism or the inadequate image of the Big Daddy vision of God leads, As atheists we believe that we are in control, having self determining motors within our billiard balls, whilst Big Daddiists expect Him to take the cue and knock our billiard balls in the right direction.But the reality is different. The universe works not on a matrix of interaction of matter with matter but of matter with circumstance. The matter-matter interaction is too two dimensional. As people we are not what we appear to be at face value: we are how we are animated, given motion, and this is powered circumstance. The circumstance is where we have come from, where we are at present, which way we are facing and in what direction our intention of future leads. This provides a hidden dimension of directions in which all are heading, circumstances, and we interact in the ways that we can see as matter, with the directions in which matter is heading, unseen, and unpredictable in any way beyond faith. Faith in God - faith in that force that creates order within chaos. By definition, that is the only force the direction of which can be predicted, and this means that people with faith link up in a common direction with common purpose whilst others in the same circumstances flounder without direction.By observation of people who have got their lives in order, and observation of those who have not, and wallow in their chaoses, perhaps one can find value in the benefit of the God of Chapter 1 of Genesis in being that definition of God as the "creative force" of the universe - and within that context we are led to a better understanding of how it can be within our comprehension. Good / bad becomes the separation of creative force opposed to chaotic force.Can one be a Christian and a Buddhist and a Hindu? Within the context of the above, all the religions are descriptions of these two opposing states. And creation, good, always triumphs over chaos, bad. Life, order, spirit, energy that creates always triumphs over death, decay, chaos of what was once ordered into life, bad. The force of order wins because the force of chaos being infinitely chaotic cannot make anything more chaotic than chaos. The triumph of God becomes a mathematical certainty. The score in each interaction is always Order 1, Choas Nill. Added up 100 times, the score is always Order 100, Chaos Nil.Earlier I referred to thorns and thistles through which we have to fight to grow our mental crops. Genesis 2 is as powerful as a description of the human condition as Genesis 1 is the context from which it arose. The analogy of the Garden of Eden can hold good in opposing but distinguishable ways.The atheists set themselves the challenge of growing their crops without the instruction book, and finding for themselves the order with which they have to harmonise in order to grow their harvest.Meanwhile the Big Daddyists are terribly frightened by the serpent who tempts them outside the garden on account of eating of the Tree of Knowledge, and this is a problem that causes all religions to be defensive, purge independant thought, exclude heretics and start wars.But Genesis 2 is bigger than that. Whilst taken as telling us that it is good to find Paradise within the Garden and to avoid the temptations of the serpent, it's actually the opposite. Big Daddy in the Garden is keeping the occupants of his realm in ignorance and as pets, mere animals. But to be human, we are more than that. That is what makes us human, distinguished from and "above" the realm of animals. Intrinsically we do eat of the tree of knowledge, and thereby acquire life, our own lives and partake of the tree of life. In doing this we exclude ourselves incompatible with the closed ignorance of the Paradise of unknowing, and we discover the thorns and thistles that obstruct our way to growing our own crops with the heritage of the guidance of Big Daddy in the garden. Not Daddy in the human form, but in the form of the God of Genesis 1: the force that creates order out of disorder. This too is the result of Genesis 2: we have to find and encourage the order in the context of the disorder, to grow our crops in the context of the thistles and weeds which ever grow to choke them.The expressions of religion which do not lead to the growing of our own crops, requiring us to be kept in the ignorance of the knowledge of outside are merely oppressions of the human spirit, keeping those held by the walls around the rules as animals, contrary to the universal creative force that wants us to learn within the garden and then go out and create our own gardens, in which our Paradise is to be found for us and all who we can pass it on to there.Of course, it is the religious expressions that keep their followers enclosed in their gardens as animals that cause followers of such to go out and behave as animals towards others both in the human world and in the jungle of nature.Out of the bilblical realm, one sees many trapped within human organisations who will suppress the whistleblower of the serpent of their own conscienses with the consciousness of what is right in the outside world, who will comply with the god of their garden of their organisations, achieving a paradise of security knowing that within their organisations they will be looked after provided they obey the rules of the organisation. They achieve the paradise of that safety.To be Christian, Jesus told the parable of the good Samaritan, of the two - the priest and the levite - who pass by, happy within the paradise of the garden of their rules and the third who broke out of the garden eating of the tree of life and gave of the benefits of that tree. The Samaritan broke through the mental thorns and thistles of the fear of those who might criticise him, to grow his crops on the other side of the road.There are many entrapped by unknowingness, animal-like within the garden, or atheist, who are jealous of the order that knowing people see and will do their best to put thorns and thistles in their paths, and sow seeds of weeds so that the crop does not grow on the other side of the road.So, yes I believe one is only a Christian if one has escaped from the imprisonment of safety and crossed that road; impossible to be a Christian as a priest enclosed within the garden, as a Levite in the same paradise, and that it is possible to be both a Christian and a follower of another path. Indeed in terms of loving one's neighbour, perhaps one cannot be a Christian within the garden, as Christ expects his followers to cross the road, step over and evade the thorns and thistles to go their own crops of creation despite the weeds of chaos around them.I hope that in vocalising this, the fog of the agnostic fence might disappear and perhaps some may have the courage to tread the path in the confidence of faith that reduces the thorns and thistles to naught.Best wishesDavid P
Let's not delude ourselves,because whatever the "creative force" of the universe is, it is utterly beyond our comprehension.
My problem with almost all religions, is the fact that so many seem to be “belief based” rather than “faith based,” as if “belief” were interchangeable with “faith.”
Seen in this light, agnosticism can be seen to free the mind from the tyranny of belief, and may actually open the door to a well grounded faith.
actually open the door to a well grounded faith.
QuoteMy problem with almost all religions, is the fact that so many seem to be “belief based” rather than “faith based,” as if “belief” were interchangeable with “faith.”:-)I think we may be looking at the same thing merely from opposite ends of the telescope. The whole point about a revised perspective of Genesis 2 is that it can be viewed to say exactly this - belief is that which is only secure within the confines of the garden, being incomplete of the partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, whereas faith allows or leads you to step outside, overcome the thistles and the weeds and positively grow your own crops.QuoteSeen in this light, agnosticism can be seen to free the mind from the tyranny of belief, and may actually open the door to a well grounded faith.I would agree with you therefore that escaping from the garden in terms of my post above "can be seen to free the mind from the tyranny of belief, and may actually open the door to a well grounded faith" but, if God is _defined_ as the force that creates order out of disorder, then not agnosticism. There is no room for agnosticism there: the force that creates order out of disorder cannot be denied. The supremacy of the power of order over the processes of disorder cannot be denied either for the repeated addition of one unit of order adds up to something but the repeated addition of no units of order, none, is still nothing.:-) - so there is the challenge for you . . . !Furthermore, I don't think that it is easy to deny the concept that we are governed not by interactions between matter but by the interactions between matter and the circumstances that drives it. It is in those driving circumstances that is the energy of the universe, and of the energy between people and these energies provide forces of direction which are all powerful, invisible, everywhere and have existed for as long in the past as they will in the future - eternal. These two concepts therefore provide for an undeniable recognition of the mechanism that obeys the definition of what is called "god" and putting the concept of "god" within the realm of comprehension.In our examination of the behaviour of people, the work of "god" being the result of the forces of order within the jungle of disorder, arises out of those who understand moving with the invisible undercurrents of momentum of intention. We swim in rivers of circumstances. People appear merely as other people and they have energy, potential energy, but their kinetic energy, their momentum, their direction is governed by way of their reaction to the forces that move (or attempt to move) them. The understanding of "god" as universal "order" will guide them in the direction to grow their own crops of "order", "creation", outside the garden of Eden despite the weeds and thistles of the brownian motion, randomness, of the people around them who do not understand the direction of order, creation and the growth of "god"'s crops. With enough care of the farmer, the crops will overcome the weeds on the mathematical certainty above. For such logic of certainly, there is both reason to have faith as well as something more profound: it is easier to submit to "god"'s will, the will of the "creation order", being the direction of the undercurrent rather than obstinately to fight against the stream of order, eddying around in random directions of their own desire only to end up in as much disorder as before. If God thought to be a Big Daddy in the sky, then I am not only an agnostic but an outright atheist. Instead it appears possible to perceive the concept of god as something so much bigger than that, and so much more fundamental. So much more helpful too.Does this then Quoteactually open the door to a well grounded faith.??Best wishesDavid P
Dear MM:-) I always enjoy your challenging thoughts. However, perhaps there is actually something more than you propose for the reason that as a matter of physics the sub-atomic particles and atoms and molecules at each level are arranged by way of forces that really do _conspire_ to bring things together into ordered forms, which can result in what you might be referring to as a life-force. One starts to see this in a very comprehensible way which is analogous to other processes in the theory of solar system formation and formation of planets out of swirling gases and resulting collections of particles.The ideas formulated above have been put together very much neither to preach to the converted nor even to attempt to shift people who have thought long and hard, but to try to help those (and particularly young people with whom I have had to cope) who have not thought much at all nor seen a way in their lives, nor a purpose and who drift, aimlessly wasting their time and without achieving very much.I believe that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 can have a particular meaning for such people, often people with whom such texts have had little contact before, demonstrating an analogue of human behaviour in the directions of fairly sound and comprehensible physics. From those analogues it looks as though perhaps matters of faith as a sound footing for directing one's lives can rightly achieve the status of a sound and rational basis rather than mere beliefs in hocus pocus and Father Christmas and whether or not you believe in ghosts.In summary, finding that faith in God can result from a rational process comes from the following steps:1. Recognition of what we call "God", the invisible, all powerful, everywhere and timeless, as the force that creates order in the context of generally increasing entropy, resulting in the creation and subsequent evolution of all matter into all forms of matter and life-matter2. Appreciation of the dynamic relationships, not of matter and matter, but matter and circumstances (of course relationships between matter and matter relate from intersections of circumstances)3. Appreciating that we ourselves have a part to play in both (1) and (2) by being living matter (analagous to the inanimate matter studied in Physics) and therefore subject to participation in the same processes.4. That the study of "God" leads us to an understanding of the creative processes which overcome the randomness of ununderstanding, random, and selfish behaviours of those who have not come across the idea of "God" or actively rebel against what they perceive to be an outdated convention of which they assume they can safely dispense5. That Jesus' teachings, being those of the "Son of God", "hearing [his] father's words and doing them", bring into the human realm the instructions for humans to work in harmony with (1) and (2) so that "God"'s work flows as rivers of circumstances.6. Finding as a result of the above that those who try to live swimming against the flow of "God"'s rivers of circumstances merely waste their time in eddying currents of dizziness, the processes of the rivers of "God" passing them by.The result of such dizziness in young people, is a jungle in which it is increasingly frustrating to move, surrounded by the thorns and weeds of (unfunded other than by crime) tobacco and other drugs (even known as "weed") and a culture in which each has to protect his back.The benefits to society of the organ and its usual place of context have much to bring to society. The 20th century was founded on the "rationality" of processes that led to the supremacy of the profession of the psychoanalyst above that of the priest, and the psychoanalysts have been wrong. There was something wrong with Freud that they have been trying to patch up and cirumvent ever since, but in summarising Freud's analyse of the motivation of the human mind as the three Fs - Feeding, Fighting and Something Else, it is apparent in the light of the above that he was wrong in omitting the fourth F - Faith. The result has been a loss to a number of generations.In contemplating the benefits of the usual context of organs, however, I tried above to demonstrate why "religion" permitted only within "the garden" in which the occupants are kept as animals results in bigotry and animal behaviour when such occupants escape the garden without having eaten of the tree of knowledge. It is such behaviour that has driven many from the place of abode of the organ . . . and therefore appropriate to exploration here . . .Best wishesDavid P
I recall being encouraged to attend an Anglican “Charismatic service” back in the early 1970’s, which I found utterly offensive. It bordered on mass hysteria, with people throwing themselves on the deck, “speaking in tongues,” dancing around like Joyce Grenfell after a glass of sherry, hugging each other, constantly testifying their faith in “the spirit” while endlessly repeating the words “Jesus” and “Love.” Quite simply, it was brain-washing by another name, and completely divorced from life; even the first blade of grass outside the church door. More worryingly, it seemed to be centred around a lost hippie-generation, who having run out of money to buy drugs since the children arrived, were reduced to religious “love-ins” but without the intimacy of “free love.” They even dressed in a kind of uniform....informal, ill-fitting, natural materials and restricted to miserable earth colours. My further impression was the belief that half of them could probably have benefitted from psychiatric counselling, while the younger ones, instead of wasting their time at this sort of “worship experience,” might have benefitted more from something a bit riskier. My version of this was watching “Plague of the Zombies,” followed by a tentative, late night stroll through a graveyard with my friends and their friends; half of whom I didn’t know, but with whom I anxiously held hands irrespective of gender.Still, if you want to be spooked, just go “Charismatic” for awhile; then seek help from marginally more grounded religious folk.
“Free will” and “acceptance” should be a part of all confirmation classes. (A conscripted army is never as efficient or as strong as one in which men and women choose to serve).
the spiritual balance of Buddhism, which is a very attractive religion in so many ways.
For reasons outlined above, I don’t think I can subscribe to David’s concept of “order out of disorder,” for I would regard disorder as part of life on Earth, and chaos an ever present feature of the universe.
============I think you are being very "weedist."What's wrong with weeds? They have rights too!For years, I carefully cultivated and cleared the ground around some pretty little purple flowers, with russet coloured leaves, which used to droop their heads at night and go to sleep. They would perk up in the morning, and I found them delightful.My life was ruined by a neighbour who said, "You need to rip those weeds up.""Weeds?" I enquired.I ignored him and defended the right of those weeds to live on equal terms with the roses and hold their heads up high; even feeding them with baby-bio periodically.I told you I wasn't a horticulturalist! MM